This is your brain on caffeine vs. alcohol

Aytekin Tank
The Startup
Published in
7 min readJul 12, 2018


Originally published on JOTFORM.COM

Back in the 80’s, there was an iconic commercial created by The Partnership for Drug-Free America called This Is Your Brain on Drugs.

It was a short video featuring a guy that looked like the stereotypical American dad sporting a very disappointed look on his face.

With an expression of sheer disdain, he stared at the camera as he approached a carton of eggs and a cast-iron pan sitting over a burning flame.

“This is your brain,” he said as he delicately picked up an egg from the opened carton and showed it to the camera. “This is drugs,” he continued as he pointed to the cast-iron skillet.

He then cracked the egg and dropped it into the hot oil burning in the pan and stood silently for added dramatic effect as the egg began to crackle and pop.

He finally picked up the skillet, flashed it to the camera and uttered what would become arguably the most infamous line during advertising’s war on drugs …

“This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?”

While I’m not sure if egg sales plummeted because of it, American parents developed a phobia nearly overnight that if little Charlie were to take a single puff of the devil’s lettuce or a sip of grampie’s Jim Beam, his brain would fry instantaneously like an egg and he would live the rest of his life as a vegetable.

False advertising? Well, one could certainly argue they might have been guilty of some puffery.

But, regardless, the commercial has made it on to numerous top one hundred commercial lists of all time.

And, if its intention was to eliminate drug use through fear, they had certainly succeeded (for the time being).

This yolky drug commercial is just one example of our world’s rather complicated relationship with drugs, be it substances as serious as heroin and cocaine or more widely accepted drugs like marijuana and LSD.



Aytekin Tank
The Startup

Founder and CEO of || Bestselling author of Automate Your Busywork. Find more at (contact: